Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Time

Christmas Eve, celebrated in our family as Allen`s birthday. He turned 18 and Karre said it made her feel a little bit old. I don`t know how that can be since she is 18,too. Our little man is now an adult, but when hanging out with him you would never think that he is really grown up. He got a sock monkey that dances and sings and a balloon and he is as happy as can be. He had to wrestle with Dad, Rene`, Trevor, and Paul. We took sandwiches and cookies to eat in the van while we drove around to look at Christmas lights and sang to the tunes on the radio. Allen and Paul oohed and aughed about the lights and the rest of us had a good time,.too.We encountered Santa Claus when we drove around the corner on our street. He was driving a red pick-up truck. Hanna was trying to figure out where Rudolph was. She sat in the back of the van and did not participate, but was able to hold it together until we got home so I call that success.

Today we had ham, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, green beans, cranberries, and brownies for dinner. It was Rene`s turn to choose the menu.

Jared and Kelsey will be here later. They were going to Mass with her grandma and then having dinner there. Once they get here I will have all I wanted for Christmas, just to have everyone home is enough.

This is a time of year to share with family and friends all that we have. We are blessed to have everyone stable and generally healthy. We keep everything as routine as possible, The gifts are wrapped the same way, the stockings are hung in the same order, we keep the same wake up and bed times for the littles, and we only have immediate family here to celebrate with. We do all of this to keep Hanna`s behavior under control.
She still sabotages things, but that is our normal.

We still have Santa presents to open so I had better run before they start giving me grief. Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Can I Scream Too?

The bus driver and helper gave the kids bags of candy today. Do they have to do THAT EVERY YEAR! Those bags had Star Burst, Carmel's, Laffy-Taffy, and gum in them along with several others. Hanna has braces. This is nothing new here, she has been wearing them for nearly three years now and I am pretty sure that these people are aware of that unless they are totally unaware of what goes on around them. They see this kid twice a day every school day.

Lauren, Allen, and Paul brought their treats to me, but Hanna was trying to tell me that she did not get any. As she is always telling me I am a dumb mom, but come on now I am not that dumb, besides Lauren`s eyes were nearly popping out of her head as she was shaking it to indicate "no".

I had to confiscate the goods and now I get to listen to the screaming, banging, kicking fit that will likely last until she falls asleep. I have already heard at least 500 times that she does not care about her mouth and she does not have to listen to my rules. That`s her stuff and the cops are going to get me for stealing it. Maybe I should go look for those cops just so I can get out of here for awhile.

Sometimes I would just like for these people who are really trying to be nice to this kid to have to put up with the fall out that comes afterward. I get it, giving the kids a treat now and then seems like a great idea until you have one with FASD / RAD then it is an absolute disaster.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Busy Saturday

There is a lot going on here today. We have to get lots of work done so we can go spend time celebrating Christmas tomorrow with relatives.

Rene` and I made doughnuts for the guys. They love those things! They told me that they would rather have doughnuts then cookies any day. We need to put together fruit and vegetable trays and make a batch or two of cookies yet for tomorrow`s gathering.

Rene` and Paul went to get the oil changed in her car. He is as happy as can be with that task, because they get to walk around and look at all the new cars and trucks on the lot while they wait for Rene`s car to get done.

Dad and Trevor went to Karre`s place to move furniture back into the bedrooms. (She got new carpet in them). They are also moving stuff out of the sun room, living room, and dinning room so the flooring can be put down. Last night it was snowing / freezing rain and when Karre went out to move vehicles she fell on the ice and bruised herself up pretty good so I don`t know how much she is doing today. They took Allen and Hanna along so maybe she can direct them a bit. I am sure Allen will have a great time filling the dumpster up. I haven`t been over to see the new floors yet, but Karre says they look really good.

Rene` and Trevor brought home lots of dirty laundry so I will have the washer and dryer running all day.

Dad needs to get to the bank and do a couple of things at work this afternoon. Oh, yeah, lets not forget the sales taxes need to get paid (I can`t forget to pay the state on time), and I have an inventory (a stack of papers) that needs to be calculated and filled out as well.

I will have to make something for dinner because there will be lots of hungry people by that time. We then have to get the littles showered and have their clothes laid out so we can get going early tomorrow morning. I am hoping to get the gifts into the van yet tonight so we don`t have to mess with that at the last minute. I have one gift to wrap yet, but maybe I can talk someone else into doing that. We will relax and have a good time tomorrow. Our drama queen is staying home and we have enough PCAs to keep track of the other three so Mom and Dad can just hang out.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Jerk

As we were slowly winding our way out of the parking ramp I told Karre that we did not need to come back to Gillette Children's in St. Paul until next year. She pays our parking fee, waits for a really old guy to cross the intersection, and makes her way on to the freeway.We were moving along at a pretty nice pace during rush hour and were going to get home just in time for dinner.

suddenly she says "you jerk Mom, next year is only a couple of weeks from now".

Yeah, and we don`t have to go back there until then.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dirty Jeans

Hanna went to school with dirty jeans on this morning. Our rule with her is that she needs to change everything every day. We have this in place because it is very concrete and makes it easy for her to remember. I know she knows what she is supposed to do, but sometimes she just does not do it.

I don`t know if she is trying to bother me or her teacher. I think on this one she is doing a pretty good job of bothering both of us, but we are not going to let her know that. Her FASD/RAD combo keeps us busy every day all day long.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Big Day

It is a big day for Lauren, she gets her braces off. Her teeth look so much straighter now. I can hardly wait to see the results.

Lauren is floating on a huge cloud of happiness this morning. She is wearing her favorite dress up, purple sweater, and she is ready to go. We are not leaving for another forty-five minutes though.

Hanna is being an obnoxious lunatic. She keeps yelling at Lauren to stop talking. She took Lauren`s hair brush and will not tell me where it is. and she has not yet changed her underwear so we have a getting dressed issue going on.

I am at the computer for a few minutes just to keep from slugging the kid. Just because she is not getting what she wants does not mean that everyone is going to feel sorry for her. Actually today while Lauren is getting her braces off and having a retainer made Hanna is having some major work done in her mouth. No one is going to fill her in on those details yet. I will let the orthodontist deal her.

After I get done spending three hours in the van and four to five at the orthodontist I am going to spend the evening visiting with some other adoptive moms. I made some delicious, but not very nutritious snacks for us to share.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Weekend And Beyond

We do very little celebrating during the holiday season because one of our kids can not handle it at all. We will spend the day with relatives next weekend. She will not go to that event just so we will have no chaos.

We spent Saturday afternoon watching the Army - Navy football game. Paul and Dad cheered for Army and Lauren and I cheered for Navy. Allen cheered for anyone who scored. Hanna will not watch any sports events so she spent the afternoon in her room. Navy won the game so we celebrated the victory with Rene`.

Yesterday Hanna was rambling on and on about how she was going to bother her teacher and she did not care if she got into trouble. After a couple of hours of this nonsense I had had enough so I sent everyone downstairs to watch Christmas cartoons and I baked 18 dozen cookies while I listened to Christmas music. The holiday baking is done except for the decorated cookies Rene` and Karre want to make later this week.

Today everyone is back to school and work. I have to get a lot of paperwork done today and then I need to get work schedules figured out. All nine of our PCAs will be working hours in the next few weeks. That will make things go smoothly for everyone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shopping Day


Lauren got her ears pierced today. She has been working at washing and folding laundry at school all year and earned enough money to do this. She has been pretty excited about this for quite a while now. We will have to come up with something else for her to work for now. Pretty much all of the kids from her class and staff were standing around watching the whole thing. A couple of the boys said no way would they do that.

Today was a shopping day for persons with disabilities at Target. The kids in grades 7-12 who spend time in the DCD classroom get to go to this event every year. They also go out for lunch and look around at a thrift store. It is a good time for them to work on skills they need to function in the community such as making a list, finding items in the store, using money to pay for them, ordering food from the menu, using appropriate table manners, and following directions.

Lauren likes to go shopping. She needs lots of help with scanning the isle for the items which takes time. She often needs reminders to look for the specific item rather than taking the first thing she sees. I got to shop with her today.

Allen is a typical guy shopper. He goes into the store to get what he needs. There is no "just looking" when shopping with him.

Hanna has anxiety issues when shopping, because of some trauma she experienced as a young child. She does not enjoy shopping one bit. She gets what she needs and leaves. She is always making sure that whoever is watching her is not leaving her there.

All of the kids from our school did really well today. One young man even left the mall with a really nice haircut, too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Letter

Paul wanted me to write something for him so I did. This is exactly what was on his mind word for word, just like he talks.

Hi, Santa Christmas;

I got a car bird box (card board box) from Karre and I made it into a big car. I had a little one too, but Mom said I could only bring one to my home so I left the little one at Karre`s so can you give it to a kid to play with?

I want you to give my Dad a racing car so I can play with it.

Hanna needs a new auto-tude (attitude) because Mom keeps telling her to put the bad one in her pocket and she don`t listen any more.

My Dad and me think Lauren needs some purple skis for her wheelchair so she can drive in the snow.

Bring Jared to our house, from the army some day and bring his dog Molly too. Maybe you can put some dog food in Kelsey`s (Jared`s girl friend) purse for Molly to eat cuz she gets hummery (hungry).

Rene` needs some gas from the gas station to drive her red car to Minnesota and she can bring Trevor with too. I like to go to the car wash and clean up Rene`s red car. Rene` and Trevor are in No Dakota (North Dakota) and it is weally, (really) weally cold at that place.

Bring Mom and Dad some kids cuz they woves (loves) them lots and lots and they gives um hugs and stories and a nightlight when it is time to sleep.

Good Bye!!

I don`t think there will be any purple skis for Lauren`s wheelchair, but maybe that would make it easier to drive in the snow. I will say that there WILL NOT be any kids for Mom and Dad, we have enough, thank you very much. Paul, you will always be our baby and please, stay as cute, easy going, and adorable as you are right now, forever. I sure love you little man!
I can put up with your obsession with cars, too.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cereal

Hanna was watching the news with Dad. They were talking about a serial robber and she says "why would that guy steal cereal. He can get that at the store".

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Complicated

We are home and it has been to crazy for computer time.

The kids had an early out from school today so they are home. I took time to get my hair cut because it was making me nuts, and I just needed a little Mom time, too.

Lauren is changing meds so we have to bring one down while at the same time introduce a different one.

We now know that Lauren`s seizures are pretty well controlled and that is the most positive news in all of this.

Other than that there are lots of ifs, ands, buts, and maybes going on. That simply means that we have figured some things out and need to investigate them with some really serious testing. She does have some pressure issue, but it is not typical so what we do about it is up in the air. We also have cognitive issues and the answer to that is also not clear. We also have issues of multiple medications clashing, so we have to get that worked out.

All I know for sure in that the human brain is far to complicated for this brain of mine to understand all of it at one time. Lets just say I have never been all that interested in the study of neurology, but now I guess I had better gear up for some intense learning.

Oh, and for anyone out there who may just happen to have some anger issues, please NEVER take it out on your kid. They then have to live with some really tough stuff, FOREVER if you do!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finally?

Today is the day we have been both waiting for and dreading for quite a while now. Today we meet with the entire team to get some answers as to what has been going on with Lauren for more then a year now. We got part of the answer a year ago when the seizures were diagnosed, but there is more to this then that.

I don`t care what the answers are, oh I am hoping for the best, but whatever it is an answer is better then this not knowing anything and not having any idea where to go or what to do about it. I am just ready for an end to the mystery of all this.

So here is hoping things go well!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Has Come And Gone

The past several days have been, well busy, stressful, fun, and chaos.

We have had appointments, celebrated Thanksgiving, moved the last of Karre`s stuff to her place, and decorated for Christmas.

The appointments were first on the agenda. Lauren needed to be at the hospital by 6:15 am the day before Thanksgiving. She had Phenal, a lumbar puncher, an MRI with contrast, and dental work done. All of this needed to be done so we worked it out so that she would get Anestassia once rather than four times. We didn`t leave for home until 9:00 pm. It was a really long day. By the time we left they had begun running the lab work on her spinal fluid and had found bacteria in it. We don`t know what it is yet. I have spoken to the Dr. twice since then and they are still trying to figure it out. Lauren was not feeling well Thursday and Friday, but seems to be doing okay now, so we wait it out. We have an appointment with our neurologists on Tuesday and hopefully they will have some answers for us then if not before that time. What they found is not the usual stuff and it is growing, but then dies off so they are getting some specialist to look at it.

Thanksgiving day we were all home except for Jared who was cooking for a lot of other soldiers and then gong to one of his friend1s parents place to eat again. We had a nice dinner and then played some games. I am thankful that everyone is in the United States this holiday season.

Friday Rene` Karre, and I went downtown to get Lauren`s checking account set up and then we went to look around at the small shops. There were no lines and no crowds to deal with so it was fun. Trevor stayed at home with the kids. He had Hanna help him make banana bread. He was going to take it back to school with him, but he forgot it so Hanna and Paul will have a feast, they love the stuff. In the afternoon we hauled the rest of Karre`s stuff to her house and then the kids decorated the Christmas tree. I told them I didn`t care how they decorated it. They put silver, white, and purple ornaments on the tree. It looks nice. Rene` sat up making little snowmen to decorate the stair railing with.

I had not done laundry since Tuesday so by Saturday I had to take care of it. We were out of milk, bread, fruit, and eggs so I had to go get groceries, too.

Today Rene` and Trevor headed back to school. The semester is nearly over and they will have about a month off soon.

Of course we had a few Hanna blow ups, and chaos, too. She just operates that way and holidays bring out the best is sabotage tactics. When it does not work for her it just irritates her to no end. We know it is coming and are prepared to deal with whatever comes our way. Today she asked when we were going to play Uno and I told her we had done that on Thursday when she was up in her room screaming and she had missed it and she says "I guess I should stop missing all the fun stuff". Maybe, just maybe she will figure it out some day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All Grown Up

Yesterday Lauren turned eighteen so according to the world she is all grown up. Four other, very typical kids here have reached this mile stone and they are certainly not grown up yet so Lauren isn`t either.

When it comes to Lauren, physically she is a beautiful blonde, with huge blue eyes. Her braces will very soon come off her teeth and she will have a gorgeous smile, too.

In all other respects she is and will always be a little girl. She needs her meals prepared, clothes laundered, and home kept clean. She needs to be kept safe, cared for, and loved. She needs someone to deal with all of her many medical needs, handle her money, and make sure she is safe in the community. She likes to be very involved in all of this, but doing any of it on her own would be a disaster.

She still really likes to be read to, her favorite game is Sorry (we have played it hundreds of times), she still like purple anything and everything, and she still plays with her baby dolls often. She likes her hair fixed so Karre game her two feathers for her birthday.

What will this grown up life hold for her? Right now there are lots of unknowns. All I wish for her is that she be happy. I don`t care if she is someone in a grown up body who is still a kid, that`s just fine as long as she is happy with being who she is.

And now we can put November 21st back on the calendar. Dad kept telling Lauren that they forgot to put it on the calendar so she could not have a birthday and she just kept saying "Monday is my birthday, don`t forget"!

We could never forget the day Lauren was all grown up! We celebrated with purple and pink cake.and will go out to Applebees, her favorite restaurant next weekend when most of her siblings are home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One Crazy Day

Yesterday was just one crazy day.

First the truck needed to go into the shop since some fuel line gasket cracked, so we spent money fixing that.

After getting the truck back the mini van went in to get an oil change, more money.

Next Karre and I headed out to run lots of errands. We got everything done except buying the groceries. My phone rang and it was the teacher calling me about Allen. (she seldom needs to call about him). He was being loud, crying, and stubborn. This all occurred after lunch time. We decided to let him chill and talk a little later to decide if she would be able to get him on the bus or if we would need to pick him up.

I continued doing what I was doing and the teacher called back about fifteen minutes later to tell me that Allen had a rash all over his stomach, so errand running came to a halt and we went to pick him up at school.

I decided that since Lauren is scheduled for several procedures next week that require Anestassia and she can not be exposed to any crap I would take him to Urgent Care and get this rash checked out.

We had been in the van for less then five minutes when Mr. Allen decided to start singing If You`re Happy And You Know It with the clapping and stomping too.

At that point I called the pediatrician who told me he would be back in the clinic in a couple of hours and we should bring Allen in then and he would have a look and that rash.

Since we had time we went and got the groceries that we hadn`t gotten before. Then we went to the clinic. No one has any idea what the rash is. I can not think of anything new that he might have gotten into, so we left with a wait it out plan.

When we got home I got the news that when Angie was driving my van back from the park some power steering thing went out, ssssoooooooo, now the van is back in the shop to be fixed.

I guess we are spending A LOT of money at the shop this month.

And the rash that was there yesterday has disappeared over night, thank goodness.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not Today, Hanna

I had to take Hanna in for some x-rays and to arrange for some pretty nasty surgery she needs on her foot. Both feet need the surgery, but one is getting worse very quickly so we are going to do that one now and hold off on the other one for awhile if it stays stable. (We need lots of prayers and hope for that to happen).

There are many days that she just drives everyone nuts just being herself so I am sure it is going to require more patience that usual to deal with her in a cast for six to ten weeks. We decided that it would be better to have her in a cast in the winter time. When it gets nice outside we need to be able to send her outside to burn off all that extra energy and she can yell out there and bother the neighbors for awhile.

Anyway, when she got up this morning she was all worried that we were going to get her foot fixed today. Trying to get it through to her that this is not happening until after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a few other events was not sinking in, so I guess we will be making a calendar so that she can mark off the days. I don`t like to do that with her because she does not understand and then gets herself all worried and anxious so she can not enjoy anything that is happening now.

I am just going to put the entire affair on hold so I can enjoy the holidays and get lots of other stuff done before I have to reign her in and keep her calm. I better load lots of reading material on my Nook so I have something to do while she colors entire coloring books.

I will probably be saying it`s not today Hanna thousands of times before we get to January 11, 2012.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Busy Around Here

I have been busy with the routine of pre-op physical for Lauren, surgery consult for Hanna, Social Security Administration run around for Lauren, guardianship paperwork for Lauren and Allen, and then taking care of the day to day stuff as well. That is what raising special needs kids is all about all the time. It is a good thing I have done this stuff for so long that it isn`t even stressful any more, just a part of the routine.

We have also been helping Karre get her place in order. The white walls, baby blue carpet, and gold fixtures are disappearing quickly. The place is looking pretty good. I pretty much like the colors she chose to paint the place with, although I don`t think I would ever go for a pink bedroom. It is her thing though with sort of a Paris theme going and it looks very nice. She decorated the other bedroom very cute with bright green walls and bedding with pink and blue owls on it for her siblings to use when they go stay with her. She wanted to know if Allen and Paul would mind if it was a bit girly. I told her they wouldn`t mind at all. I don`t think Paul will slow down enough to notice and Allen is pretty much fine with whatever is available.

Sorry to leave everyone out there with no news, but it has been busy around here and since the holidays are coming up soon I don`t think think things are going to quiet down for a while.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Logic, What Logic?

Hanna has three complete sets of clothes and that is it. Everything else is locked up because she tares them up and empties everything from her room when she is raging. So anyway she has these clothes and they are all looking really ready for the garbage, but in order for her to get different ones she is going to need to talk to me and that is not going to happen, well you know, maybe until sometime in the next century. She wears these worn out clothes and does not seem to care at all about how she looks. Last evening she came to me wanting to replace a pair of her underwear because they have this teeny, tiny little hole in the seam.

It is okay to wear a shirt that she has ripped the sleeve open to the elbow, but that little hole in the underwear is cause for concern. I don`t get it. This kid just does not make much sense. Maybe she wants to have nice underwear on so she can show them off or something. Anything is possible when it comes to Hanna.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Social Security, What A Hoot!

Well, we (Lauren, Dad, and I) spent several hours today discussing life with the guy at the Social Security Administration office, what a hoot!

Lauren sat there, completely out of the loop, but since we were told that we HAD to bring her along to prove that she was the disabled person we were applying for benefits for, so she was there. Dad had a bag of M&Ms in his pocket so he gave those to Lauren, which kept her busy for at least five minutes. I have no idea what she needed to be there for. She could not answer any of the questions, and even when telling the guy her birthday I had to translate since he could not understand a thing she said.

Dad kept track of the financial stuff, since he can figure these things out in his head and that just boggles my mind. Why she needs to get two separate checks each month rather then putting things together and coming up with one total is beyond crazy, but that is the way they do it. Since I will be keeping track of her money it just adds more paperwork for me.

I got the task of providing the medical history,which was no problem since I had brought all of the three plus foot stack, (that is not exaggerating at all( of paper along. The guy was impressed that we had kept records of all of this stuff. I keep everything when it comes to adopted kids with any kind of disabilities and behavior issues.

It was clearly established that Lauren is disabled and will qualify for benefits. The only question is how long will it take for the paperwork to be processed?

Guess what, we get to do this all over again for Allen in a couple of months. There is one very big problem with that, currently according to the Social Security Administration Allen does not exist. We have to get that matter settled before we can do anything else. We have the guy working on that for us.

The run around just goes on and on and on.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

School Is Out

There was no school yesterday because it is the end of the quarter, therefore a teachers only day. That left me at home with the four "littles", maybe I should find a better name then that, but they are and will always be my "littles".

Lauren unloaded the dishwasher and then I sent her to play with Paul. She helped me make lunch, too.

Allen was being Mr. Helpful so he carried several baskets of clean clothes upstairs, took the garbage and recycling out, put shoes away, and helped me all morning.

Hanna needs to hang out with me or be in her room when I am here alone since I can not keep track of her and get other things done. Of course she chose to be in her room rather then do dishes and laundry and hang out with me.

Paul and Lauren played cars and garages for quite a while. Then he decided that he was going to pretend to make diet Dr. Pepper ice cream. That just sounds to delicious for me. He also thought we should have a Reece`s peanutbutter cup and orange Jello pizza to go along with that ice cream he brewed up, yummy. One thing is for sure, that boy can pretend, which is a skill that none of our other developmentally disabled kids have mastered at all.

We had a pretty good day , but by late afternoon I was glad when Dad, Karre and Angie came to rescue me. None of them were to interested in Paul`s pretend food either.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just Pencils

They are just pencils! I have to get that out there first, but why the heck does my kid who has to work really, really hard to learn anything put so much (almost all of her energy) into ripping people off and hoarding the stuff.

I mean she thinks a car costs $25.00, a TV costs $10.00, and a box of cereal costs $20.00. She can not spell, even basic words that she uses all the time. She has no idea what holiday is in December. She can`t remember what day it is. She is not able to do any of this, but she can come up with ways to rip people off ALL THE TIME.

It is like you catch her at doing one thing so she stops doing that and does something else. It is amazing what we have confiscated from her, food, money, toys, bras (yes, some other kid`s), shoes, game pieces, mittens, books (a sixth grade science book and she was never in the sixth grade science class), license plates,and now pencils. I am sure there are things we have not found yet and, we will get to those too.

Maybe if she could focus her energies on something else she could actually learn how to do something productive. We have been trying to explain that there are no jobs out there for people who steal stuff. The kid just needs to keep her paws off stuff that does not belong to her, even if it is just pencils. If she gets away with stealing pencils she will think it is okay to take other stuff as well. I guess I was never to interested in being a thief so I never spent much of my energy on learning the craft. Hanna is teaching me a thing or two in this department. I spend most of my energy trying to figure out what makes this kid tick. It is a never ending challenge.

Miss Angry And Miss Excited

Lauren and Hanna had orthodontist appointments yesterday. Things were pretty much as usual. Lauren just needed to have a small adjustment in her top wire and new bands on and Hanna needed to have a bracket repaired and a new wire because she broke hers. At the end of the appointment we got great news.

Lauren is getting her braces off on her next appointment, she is so excited! She has done well with this entire process.

Hanna got pretty upset that Lauren gets her braces off and she does not. Well as the orthodontist explained very clearly to her, she has not exactly been cooperating in the process and she has a lot more issues in her mouth to work on. She has nothing to be angry about except her pour choices.

The drive home was filled with "what day are we going back" ? and "that`s no fair". and of course a few of Hanna`s other favorite words, which should never be coming out of her mouth, so I will leave that to your imagination.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween

We had gotten together with friends this day for the past several years. I thought about it for a long while before I decided that that tradition was not going to happen this year. They have kids who are having lots of food and regulation issues. We have Hanna attitude which also involves food and regulation issues. We have had Hanna attitude for several years now, but the difference is that we are no longer putting up with any of it. If she wants to sabotage, steal, lie, pout, or any of the other garbage she tries to pull she just does not get to participate, period.

After talking it over briefly with my friend we decided we were both okay with out getting together.

Paul is still a little kid and we want him to enjoy the day so we are going to bring dinner over to Karre`s house. Karre and Angie will take Paul and Andrew trick-or-treating for a little while around there. Dad is in charge of guarding the candy we have to hand out so Hanna does not eat it and Lauren gets to hand it out to the kids that come around. Karre wanted me to organize some of her kitchen stuff so I think I will get Allen to help me with that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Karre Gets To Move Out

Today is the day Karre has been waiting for. It is the day she signs her life away and begins being a home owner. Yes, our eighteen year old daughter is buying a townhouse. She is so excited, has worked so hard to earn her money, and really wants her own place. Actually she really needs a break from Hanna, (all of us do).

Karre is the fourth of our eight kids, but she will be the first one to have her own place. She is the youngest person the Realtor has ever sold property to. As she puts it most kids just are not this responsible.

Karre was able to buy a two bedroom, two bath townhouse with a double garage for less then she would be paying to rent a two bedroom, one bath place with no garage.

Way to go Karre, we are so proud of you!!! I am sure you will come across town for Mom cooking several times a week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let`s Do This Once Again

I took three kids to the dentist this morning. Everyone has great teeth, but we have Allen who is just about an adult (I can hardly believe it) who has a huge wisdom teeth issue. With the Down Syndrome and FASD combination he has a very small jaw, even smaller then the average male with Down Syndrome alone, so needless to say those teeth have no place to go except places which will cause enormous problems. The kid has never had a cavity in his life and his teeth are straight which is pretty unusual for someone who has his issues.

I have already been dealing with the issue of getting MA to pay for removal of Lauren`s wisdom teeth and thus far have had zero success. Allen`s dentist is a young go getter of a lady who says she will give it a try to get this approved for him. I wished her lots of luck and told her to go for it. We will see what happens with that. We will cross our fingers, hope for the best, and say a few prayers too, just for good measure.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wishing For The Impossible

The kids have not had school since last Wednesday morning and Hanna has spent all of this break in trouble. I am SO GLAD Dad and Karre were the two who caught her and laid down the law for once!!! I am the one who deals with this 99% of the time and it gets really tiring.

Even before the break from school started Hanna was caught eating and drinking what was in her lunch box on the bus on the way to school. We had to get her seated where she can be watched on the bus.

She stole a lot of stuff from Karre`s room. Karre is really excited that she is moving to her own place the end of the week. I do not blame her at all, having a kid sister who constantly rips you off really is no fun at all. Karre is a really caring sister who has let Hanna get away with an awful lot, but there comes a time when enough is enough.

Dad caught her stealing the snacks that I purchase for the kids lunch boxes. Lets just say she had herself a real feast. She will not be having any snacks or deserts in her lunch for a very long time.

She could not figure out what the problem with taking the snacks was so she then stole a whole box of graham crackers, too.

She had to top the weekend off by stealing the controller for our main radio which has all of our alarms set on it. It is the one we let Paul listen to because he can not go to sleep without noise in his room. Anyway she took the controller and hid it in the drawer which contains sweat shirts in Lauren`s room. She was telling us that Lauren took it and put it there, but after everyone told her we did not believe her she admitted that she had taken it because she was mad and wanted to get Lauren in trouble.

You can NEVER believe anything that kid tells you. She lies about EVERYTHING. It just comes out of her mouth before she even thinks about what she is saying. She can not be left for even one minute unsupervised, EVER.

I don`t know how much longer we can keep doing this. There are days when it would be so nice not to have to deal with this crazy behavior.

It would be nice to know that my money will still be in my purse if I forget or don`t have time to lock it up.

It would be nice to make meals with all of the food I bought available to make them with.

It would be nice to go just one day without being lied to at least a hundred times.

It would be nice to go without carrying a stack of keys around.

It would be nice for all of the other kids to not be blamed for things they did not do.

It would just be nice to live a life free from stealing, lying, cheating, screaming, hitting, kicking, and manipulation. I might be wishing for the impossible here, but I still wish for it anyway.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving Right Along

It has been far to busy around here to take time out for blogging.

Last weekend it was warn and a bit windy, but great weather for trimming trees and getting the planting areas ready for winter. We hauled away a truck load of branches and brought back mulch.

I have spent three days doing appointments with kids.

We have had to deal with several Hanna behavior issues,as usual. They remind us that this kid will always try to manipulate everyone in her life and she will always need to be supervised closely.

Today I am getting meals prepared and the laundry done so Dad can maintain order here. It is MEA week here so there is on school Thursday and Friday. Paul was upset about that because he says he wants to play Jim Bob ( from the Waltons) and trucks with his para. I am nut so sure she is really into all of this though.

Tomorrow Lauren has an extended EEG, which involves sleep deprivation, (oh yeah, I do not function well without my sleep). I am not sure how long this thing is going to take, but they gave me a multi page packet of instructions and a list of things to bring including extra clothes so I guess we will be setting up camp at the hospital for a while.

After that we need to celebrate Alex`s (the nephew) tenth birthday, he sure is growing up fast.

We are having lunch with Allen`s Mum.

We have to get our big van serviced., and hopefully we will have a little time to relax, too.

Things just keep moving right along here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Schedule Chaos

The people who work in the scheduling department at Gillette Children`s Hospital work hard to earn their pay. Lauren needs Phenal injunctions, an MRI with contrast, a lumbar puncture, and sealants on her teeth. The goal is to get this all done on one day so that she has Anestassia once rather than four times thus avoiding three extra pre-op physicals. In order to do this all of the physicians, operating room team and an available operating room that can meet all of her needs has to be open at one time. Yeah, it gets a bit complicated but we have done it before and will get it done again.

I was on the phone six times today with the scheduler. We have an operating room, the operating room team, and two of the four physicians scheduled. She is trying to re-arrange the schedules of the other two physicians to make this work.

I do a lot of scheduling to keep these kids going, but that lady has me beat by a lot. I can not even imagine how much chaos she organizes every day. We will be back at it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Working On It

Two long days of neurology appointments down, problem solved, no, but we have a team which includes a pediatric neurologist, an adult neurologist, and a seizure neurologist (who all work specifically with persons who have traumatic brain injuries and work together) on the case. We have several tests to be completed over the next six weeks and a team meeting to follow that.

We will get to the bottom of this. Everything that these physicians are coming up with is extremely rare, by that I mean these things occur in less then 2% of all persons who have TBIs. None of the possibilities are great, but just knowing what is going on will be better then not knowing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Attitude And More

We had quite a bit of Hanna attitude last week and this morning was no different. Since she was ready to go out the door with plenty of time to spare I told her to put the dishes away. She put the three things that were on the counter away and then ran out the door. I guess she thought I would never know that she had not unloaded the dishwasher. I got her back in here and had her put ALL the dishes away. She keeps coming up with this "my brain don`t think" line trying to get away with things. Her brain has a lot of short circuits , but it works better then she would like us to believer it does. They have a sub today so I am pretty sure there was plenty of manipulating going on at school.

I have been working on cleaning the basement. Kids sure can make a mess!

I will be at neurology appointments with Lauren for the next two days. Hopefully we can get some of this neurology stuff figured out. She continues to show signs of seizures which create some issues. She also just can not function at times. One day she could not figure out where her pajamas were. She has been able to get them from the same drawer in the same dresser in her room for the past ten plus years and all of a sudden she can not find them. The other day she could not figure out how to play Sorry (her favorite game). We have played this game hundreds of times, she totally understands how to do it, yet she could not figure out what to do with the different cards. If these things were happening just once in a while it would be no big deal, but this sort of stuff is happening far to often to just let it go. Wait and see and likely a lots of medical testing as well, sigh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Never Never Ever

We are still running on Homecoming crazy around here. Dad and I have gotten the I am never, never, ever going to talk to you because you never, ever let me do what I want to do thing. This, I am not going to talk to you would be just fine, but the kid is yelling this at us so actually she is talking to us, but we are not going to respond until the volume comes down and things stop flying everywhere.

She told Karre the same thing except that Karre has the brownies and she would really like one so now she thinks it is okay to talk to her to get what she wants. She is not getting a brownie tonight with that behavior. When she wants things is pretty much the only time she communicates with anyone around here, notice everything is about me, me, me.

There is never, never, ever going to be any peace and quiet around here as long as she is doing her thing, I know that for sure.

Monday, September 26, 2011

As Predictable As Charlie Brown...

Every autumn as Lucy holds that football for Charlie Brown to kick, and then she pulls it away so he lands flat on his backside. It is predictable, it always happens without fail. We have the autumn predictability of homecoming Hanna crazy through the roof behavior. It just started today so we have four more days of stomping, yelling, lying, throwing things, and a really bad attitude. Are we not just the luckiest family, we won a total nut house for a week.

I don`t know when people will finally listen when I tell them do not mess with the schedule, change the routine, or do any of this "fun stuff" because the kid can not handle it and then we pay for it big time at home. Hanna does not understand what toga day, bling day, or spirit day are and none of that is worth teaching her because it will have no impact on her day to day life now or in the future.

Oh my aching head! I hope she does not fight her meds and pace and scream to long.

Charlie Brown never figures it out so I guess neither will the rest of the world.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Strawberry Milk And The Rock Star

Everyone is outta here, but not before Paul spilled an entire glass of strawberry milk on the kitchen floor. He then went into nutty mode as it was cold, wet, and all over him, so he had to stomp, scream, flap, and splash the mess so that it was all over the place, rather then contained in the corner where he spilled it in the first place.

He went to school a freshly showered little boy and my kitchen floor got scrubbed so in the end all is well.

I get to do a few more chores around here and get some dinner figured out for the gang and then I get to "go out" so to speak with some fun ladies to listen to the "Rock Star" speak. That will make this a great day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paper Pusher

I have been a very busy paper pusher lately. I have copied so many pages of stuff that I ran out of black ink. I had a rather nasty paper jam to undo. I have written numerous letters. I am working on adoption assistance for my soon to be eighteen year olds.I am working with two different states with different processes. I spent two and a half hours on the phone with the Social Security Administration and then got to speak with a guy who could barely speak English and certainly had no understanding of the complex issues that I was dealing with so guess what I get to do it all over again with a supervisor later this week. Why the heck didn`t they let me speak with someone who knows what is going on in the first place! I made three medical appointments and got prescriptions refilled so the wild children do not get out of hand.

After all of that I began dealing with trying to get Paul a new pair of glasses since he lost his and we can not find them any where. We even put out a $20.00 reward which usually get results around here, but no finders so far. This losing glasses creates an insurance mess. First of all we have to get a new prescription since the current one is more then twelve months old. If we fill it and he needs a different one in January (when he has his next scheduled appointment) they will not pay for the change. If we just let him go without them until his appointment then we have the school going bonkers. To make matters just a little bit more crazy we have to get a new paper from the pediatrician stating that he needs flexible frames because he will have the cheap ones in multiple pieces in less then a day. All of this takes time and lots of phone calls and papers to fill out.

This is what I do all the time to keep these kids functioning. I think I could make really good wages as a professional paper pusher.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creepy

Paul and I were waiting to check out at the store when in his non-stop chatter and jumping around he says to a girl who is likely about the same age, but at least six inches taller, "your creepy"

Her response " you are cute, but I think you might be the creepy one".

This word creepy is one that he picked up at school and he has absolutely no idea what it means and since he is so impulsive and never thinks before he speaks it is coming out at all the wrong times in all the wrong places. I would like to think that creepy is as bad as it will get, but I am pretty sure there will be other things coming out of the kid`s mouth that will cause far more trouble then that did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tow-Mater

This morning Paul was in a total panic because he wanted to wear his Tow-Mater t-shirt, which has yogurt all over it and it is in the laundry. He threw it in the dryer and told me that I need to wash it "NOW" so he can wear it to school now. Well there is no explaining that it takes a while to wash and dry the shirt so I was not even going to go there with him because he would not understand. I was able to get some other clothes on him and get his tires (shoes) on, I gave him his fuel (lunch box), and sent him out the door. We could not find his mirrors (glasses) anywhere so he is just going without them for today.

He left stomping and yelling that Mater can not back up without his mirrors. I guess Mater is just going to have to drive forward for today.

I am so in love with that kid, Tow-Mater and all!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In The Bushes

After school yesterday was going as smoothly as things can go that time of day around here. Allen had gone out to release his stress on the swing, Hanna and Paul went to the park with our PCA, and since Lauren was just sitting on her butt I was putting her to work with me. We unloaded the backpacks and lunchboxes and Lauren unloaded the dishwasher. I had just started preparing dinner and was helping Lauren make lunches for today when the park crew returned.

Hanna told me that she was heading to the restroom and Angie was helping Paul, who was freaking out because he had knots in his shoes and he could not get them off as fast as he wanted to. When Angie got done handling the shoe problem I asked her to check on Hanna (we have a lot of issues with her in bathrooms) and after checking all four of the bathrooms and not finding her the search was on.

Hanna does not usually run off unless she is in one of her mad at the world moods and she had not been acting up at all so I got concerned rather quickly. I went upstairs checking closets, under beds, in Paul`s fort, etc and found her no where. While I was upstairs looking Angie was in the basement doing the same.

Then Karre returned from the grocery store so I told her to check in the garage. About this time I was going for the phone to call in our local law enforcement friends once again (they know Hanna all to well) when Karre comes in to tell me to look out the back door. There was Hanna sitting in the tomato bushes (which are very over grown) eating the tomatoes.

I had to explain once again to the kid that she can not just take off and go where ever she wants to because she scared the heck out of all of us and she can not keep herself safe. She just stared at me with that blank look telling me that she had no idea what I was talking about. I sure hope those tomatoes were tasty!

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Grade And FASD

Paul and the first grade are not exactly getting along. He can not sit still, does not understand the material, and in general is not ready for first grade. He most likely will not be there for several years so there is no point in putting it off. He learns by doing the same things over and over again. He is extremely concrete so he needs to learn everything one way no exceptions.

Since school is rather challenging he is picking at his ears, and biting his lip and he is REALLY loud and hyper when he gets home. His meds have begun to wear off by late afternoon so we have been having lots of shoe throwing, paper taring, and one blue backpack flying across the kitchen every day.

I think it is time to make some changes in his day.

The older three kids were going swimming this morning so they were excited to get out the door. I hope Hanna puts her ear drops in so she can keep swimming. The last word I got from her this morning was that she did not need to listen to those rules cuz she doesn`t want too and no one will tell me if she does not follow the rules. I am not about to get into a power struggle with, but there are consequences if she does not do what she is supposed to do, and yes I will find out.

Never fear I will never run out of things to do and issues to deal with.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Beyond Awareness

Today is FASD awareness day, but I think it is time to move beyond awareness. With all the accessible information out there I think people are finally coming to the understanding that alcohol messes people up big time. I know that there will always be those out there who will say "I just didn`t know" and for some of them that may actually be the case, but come on now, the reality is that they really do know, they just do not want to deal with the issue because they are not comfortable with it, they can use alcohol because their kid will not turn out like that, or they feel it does not directly affect them so they simply do not care.

It is time to figure out how educate the kids affected with FASD.
It is time to figure out how to keep the teens and adults affected with FASD out of the criminal justice system.
It is time to figure out how to provide appropriate services for all persons with FASD.

Most of all it is time to stop the alcohol consumption to prevent FASD in the first place!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Three-Sixty


When I was a kid I could ride my purple, banana seat bike, the one with a purple glitter seat, everywhere all year round. I could jump the curb, sprint the two blocks to the park, go around the block to grandma and grandpa`s with no problem. There is one thing that I never mastered on that bike, the three-sixty. One of my brothers could spin himself on his bike in the air to make a complete circle without crashing. I do not know how he did that and I guess I was probably to sense- able a kid for that kind of stuff, but it was cool when he did it.

Now that I am parenting kids who need to live their lives in the "system" all the time I an learning how to do that three-sixty. One minute the plan is to stop everything and get the kid out into the community, ready or not because that is the plan that happens to have the available funding right now. No one has any idea what will be happening next month so we had better get moving.

This is not the way we wanted to do things. We wanted to make a very slow transition from school to community, to work, to living outside the home. We just felt that would be the best way to do things, after all the average teenager in not ready to be on their own the minute they become adults so certainly someone who has significant special needs would not be ready either.

This morning while going through the mail I found a letter from another state which informed me that since my child will turn eighteen after Oct. 1st 2011 and is developmentally disabled new legislation in that state has made it possible for adoption assistance to continue. That is one piece of legislation that is working to benefit the kids. This will allow us to do a three-sixty back to the plan that we felt was right all along, ya-hoo!! I just have to figure out what documents from our state will fulfill their requirements. I do have thousands of pages to choose from and I have to get this to the people who make decisions and control the funds before the kid turns eighteen, this task is not quite as much fun as riding that banana seat bike, but it is one I can take on for the kid.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday!!

Early this morning, about 5:45 am that is, Paul was in our room ready for the A-B-C-D (as he calls it) news to come on so we could get the day started. I told him that it was "wake up Wednesday" as they call it at school and he needed to get ready. The kid was moving full speed ahead, peed before pulling the pants down, poured the cereal on the table, and jumped up and down all the while eating. There are quite a few short circuits in that boys head before meds kick in.

I did get some de-tangler on his very wild who doo (hair doo) as he calls it and I did get a hug and kiss before he headed out the door dragging his backpack along the pavement as he ran.

One last thing, he said "wuv (love) you Mom and you boy hum man (human) is going to have fun! I like his attitude about life.

I am sure his first grade teacher has no idea what is coming into her classroom.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It Is A School Day!

Three of the four kids who will be school this year started this morning. I am sure Lauren, Allen, and Hanna will do just fine since they are in the same classroom with the same teacher and paras and their routine is not changing to much at least for this first semester.

Paul is home with me for another couple of days. I am pretty sure the transition back to school will not go quite as smoothly for him since he has a new teacher, lots of new kids, and the first grade to deal with. I wanted an IEP meeting before sending him off, but that is not going to happen and really I am okay with that. I will be waiting for the phone calls when he can not handle all of this. Preventing chaos is always my first choice, but maybe some big time melt downs with work better then I told you so.

The hot water heater has some valve which needs to be replaced so we have no hot water for now. The good thing is that the water heater is still covered by the warranty so we will not have a bill to pay to get it fixed.

I have lots of laundry and dishes to do when they get it fixed.

We won`t really be in the school routine until after Labor Day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Down The Mountain

We have worked hard, really hard and she has put in even more work then we have to get to the top of the mountain. When a kid has a severe, (life threatening) traumatic brain injury it takes a lot of doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers, PCAs, siblings, friends, and some times even strangers to help Mom and Dad to get her to be the best she can be, whatever that is. She gained academic skills, fine and gross motor skills, emotional and social, skills, and an over all sense of independence and well being which she as well as we were getting comfortable with. She had achieved far more then anyone had imagined possible. We had expectations for her and she could follow through. Goals were set and she slowly, but steadily reached each one of them. Yeah, there were many setbacks and much frustration along the way, but we were always moving in a positive direction.

That all changed just about a year ago when Lauren, who had been seizure free for thirteen years began having them again. The quality of her speech has greatly diminished to the point where there are times when, even those of us who are around her everyday and usually understand her can not make out what she is saying. At times she can not complete tasks which had been mastered for years. Her behavior overall is getting more immature.

Working so hard to make gains gets tiring and monotonous at times but the end result of seeing your kid learn to walk or talk or zip a zipper, after six years of patiently practicing makes all of it worthwhile. We celebrated all of the successes with great joy. Watching your kid lose what she has worked so hard to achieve brings about the most helpless feeling in the world because no one can tell you when the decline will stop, (if it does) or what the end result will be.

Lauren is teaching me to appreciate what we have because we under estimate it value until it is no longer there.

So when your kid is saying "no", or asking those dumb "why" questions be happy that they can communicate.

When your kid is running, yelling, and getting dirty, run with them, be loud with them, and be thrilled that they have gotten dirty so you can clean them up.

When you kid needs help to button their pants, zip a zipper, or tie their shoes help them and remember that some day they will not be needing you to do those things for them.

Enjoy the slow steady pace of climbing the mountain of learning, and growing up because that is so much more fun then a free fall back down when you do not even know where the bottom is. I have no idea what lies ahead for Lauren, but whatever happens she will always be our blonde haired, blue eyed princess.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rediculous

Crisis averted...for now that is. Communication breakdown, BIG TIME( not on the part of Mom and Dad), agencies working together, NOT, and affects on our two soon to be eighteen, HUGE!!

Here are just a few of the ridiculous things that professionals have said to Dad and me this week.

You did not have to spend $$$$ to gain guardianship for these kids we can take care of doing that. (and we are going to let the "system" look after the well being of our vulnerable adults when they can not even solve a very basis problem without serious melt down form Mom). Yeah, that would work real well.

Why don`t you just call your senator and let them deal with this. (like how many letters and emails of mine has anyone ever answered)? Zero

Maybe you can give your kid allowance and teach them money skills at home. (like we haven`t been doing that since the day she walked in the door). There is a time for allowance and then they do grow up and they have to move on to the real world.

You can just send food to school and that will solve the problem. ((next to stickers, food is the answer to everything), that was not the point of this in the first place.

The best one yet is we have to trim our budget 1.25% (our budget has been cut 41%), yet we are supposed be able to cover the huge expenses of special needs kids on our own.

After all of this we are now going with the plan that we had wanted in the first place. Now I have to deal with another issue for another kid, and how is this going to go? Oh my aching head.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fried Brain

The school says its the responsibility of the county, the county says its the responsibility of CADI, CADI says its the responsibility of the State Department of Education, who in turn say get rehab services involved, and they all would just rather Mom and Dad would just deal with it and let them all off the hook and what do I say? MY BRAIN IS FRIED and I HAVE HAD IT and this is what is happening with the kid who actually has services and guess what I have to do it all over again with one who does not have them.

While I am at it, a very simple plan was created which would SAVE everyone LOTS of MONEY and would be best for the kid, but that is not going to work!! We always have to do things the long, hard, expensive way. Why can`t you people work together and do what is right for the kids, just once??!!!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Say What Did You Say?

Friday morning Hanna decided that she was not going to take her meds. No one is going to make a fourteen year old do what she does not want to do, so the unmedicated kid is pretty out of control, she created some chaos around here.She still would not take her meds yesterday and at that point we were discussing the idea of taking her to the ER. We finally chose not to do that because once there she would take her meds, no problem and then they would ask her what the problem was and she would say nothing and then there would be this "you must be the crazy ones, not her" and send her home. Finally this morning after two full days of crazy she took her meds. After they had been in her system for a couple of hours I had to ask her what that nonsense had been about.

Her thing for the past four years has been if I make myself bad enough, or destroy enough stuff then I can make you send me away. That has never worked out to well. We have always told her that no matter what she does we are her family, even if she can not live here. Well this morning the whole thing changed to if you really wanted me how come you did not come and get me when my other family was hurting me? I had to ask her to repeat that more then once because I could not believe that she was actually asking me that. This kid seldom talks about this stuff, she just hides it away and tries to pretend that it did not happen.

This is all pretty complicated stuff for the average person to grasp, but for a kid who thinks in a very concrete manner, does not understand time and place, and needs lots of repetition in order to figure things out getting the idea of how this all works is going to take some time. How do you explain the workings of child protection, the legal run around, the ping pong of multiple placements, and the fact that we did not even know that she existed while this was all happening?

We are thrilled that she finally asked us that,because it gives us hope that at some point we might get her to figure some of this stuff out. I am sure that we have lots and lots of crazy to deal with, but at least there is something in there to work with. We are going to have to simplify to the extreme and go over this to the point of exhaustion.

I can never truly understand all of the trauma my adopted kids have lived through, but I fully understand what parenting them in the aftermath is all about.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Dakota

We went to No Dakota, that is how Paul puts it. We got Rene` and Trevor moved, at least most of their stuff. Rene` and her friend have a really nice apartment with underground parking. Those girls are really excited about the parking thing since they will not have to worry about getting their cars started and shoveling them out of snow mountains all winter long.

Trevor and Allen hauled lots and lots of stuff. Allen was so excited to get to do some work.

When we were driving on campus at the University of North Dakota, Trevor told Paul that Mom used to go to school there and Paul had this really big ah-ha moment where his eyes were about to pop out and he says "Mom, you really went to school"! I guess he finally figured that out.

We came back home to Minnesota (that by the way is where we live according to Paul), and Jared lives in the Army. We can not get the idea that we live in a town on a street through to him right now.

Now we have less then two weeks to get the littles (they will always be little), ready for school and then things will get done around here for a few months.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

B-Day

Today is Jared`s birthday. He is not here so we can not cook some great meal and celebrate together, but Allen and Paul called him up and sang to him. There off key out of tune singing should give him enough reality to last the entire day and then some. We sent him some gift cards for fast food and fuel so he can go off base for a break some time soon. Happy birthday, Jared!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Soldiers And Sailors

We haven`t heard from our soldier, Jared in the last couple of weeks except when he needed us to put money in his bank account so that he could by sheets and a pillow, since his pay has gotten lost in the move from Missouri to Georgia (or however military pay travels through the system). When they are not calling that usually means they are working hard, doing stuff that moms really do not want to hear about.

Our forever sailor, Rene` went to Virginia Beach last week to spend some time with a lot of other sailors. Virginia Beach is where she was based and home for most of the sailors who where killed hast week in Afghanistan. They are celebrating the lives of those lost in Virginia Beach and we are here, too.

When both my soldier and sailor have been asked why they do what they do they will humbly say "because it is the right thing to do", and that is as much of an answer as I will ever get from them. I am so proud to be the mom of a soldier and a sailor!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Spit And Sticker Help

The one and only, Miss Hanna was MAD yesterday because the ceiling fan in her room is being relocated and replaced with a close to ceiling mounted light fixture. Now exactly why would we go to all of this work to take a ceiling fan out of a kids room? Well, this kid has figured out how to throw things up there (like t-shirts and sheets) and send them spinning and when they get stuck up there it becomes a fire hazard and Mom has to climb up there to get them down and I have better things to do with my time then that. Why she dois this stupid stuff is simply because we (her family) gave her the clothes and bedding so she HAS to destroy it).

This all would seem just a little crazy in the minds of normal people, but that is just how traumatized kids with attachment disorders behave. They will destroy everything they have just to keep the people who really care about them at bay.

Last night when it was time to be going to bed Hanna was still mad so she decided that spitting all over the walls and floor in her room was going to get back at us for trying to keep her safe. This morning I told her she was going to have to clean the mess she made up. She is in her room sweeping the floor. She can sweep all she wants to but sooner or later a bucket with some nice warm water and cleaning solution will be used by her to really clean up the disgusting spit mess.

Dealing with this nutty behavior is challenging, but even more so is dealing with professionals who think that sticker charts, positive talk, and rewards will get her to change her behavior None of this stuff works at all since she is able to play the game of being good until she gets what she wants and then we are back to destroying and spitting again. Until she REALLY wants to change it isn`t going to happen. You can not sticker or reward anyone into something they do not want.

Spit all you want to kid, it`s your room and you have to live in it, but you will not get any stickers here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hanna`s Day

Hanna got the opportunity to choose the first cupcake because it was her birthday. She could not make up her mind so grandma chose two and told her to take one of those. It did not matter since they were all equally full of sugar.

This is what nine year old boys do for fun. The kids each got a bucket filled with ice, coins, and small toys. Alex sat and watched his melt for about two minutes and then he went and found a rock to bust it up so he could get his stuff.

The day went as well as they can go when it comes to trying to do anything fun with Hanna. Of course we are paying for celebrating her birthday this week.

Friday, July 29, 2011

B-Day

Hanna turned 14 today, but since she has not figured out that today is her birthday we will leave it that way. (She does not understand time very well). There will be less chance of drama if she does not know it is the day. We will celebrate tomorrow when we go to the lake with grandma, Dave, Kris and the 2 kids. We are planning on spending the day playing in the sand, swimming. and tubing. Hanna enjoys doing all of this stuff so hopefully she has a good time.

It is difficult to keep celebration for her to a minimum, but she can not handle it any other way. I find it especially difficult because I know that as a young child she did not have an opportunity to celebrate her birthday or anything else so we want her to know that she is worth celebrating.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Playing The Game

I have been playing a game of Life With Disabilities for a very long time. It is a rather complicated game where much thinking, planning, and strategies are involved. There is lots of legal mumble jumbo to figure out along the way and then of course there are the many, many rules to follow. I thought I was doing pretty well playing this game, but now the rules of the game keep changing. Those rules do not apply to all the players equally and I do not even have them in writing so that I might have a chance to figure them out.

The game is one that I can never win and if my kids could possibly function at all without services I would just give up and throw the game board and all of its pieces at my opponents. I would stop trying to play this very unfair game and find something less stressful to do with my time and money. I guess I better just figure out my next move in the game.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Moving Time

Right now we have two couches, a love seat, a kitchen table, two large book shelves, and a chair sitting in our living room, along with the furnishings that really belong there. Needless to say we can not use our living room at all.

We have college kids and with that comes this endless cycle of moving from home to the dorms, to apartment, and then every nine months or so you just do it all over again. Now we do not have just the usual moving routine we have a kid who will graduate in the spring with three degrees, who will either get a job or go to graduate school and of course this involves some more moving, but now we are likely to have a long distance move. We also have a kid will will be doing two long term internships which means she will need to make three moves in nine months.

Karre is staying put with us for now, but she is serious about getting a town house. She has the money to do it and I guess we will move her when the time comes. I think she needs a break from her siblings and this will give her that.

Just to add to the moving fun our soldier is moving from Missouri to Georgia and shortly to deployment so he has stuff all over the place, too.

Yet all of this stuff is okay with me because they are moving forward and doing things they want to be doing. They have goals which are with in reach and real progress can be seen. They are just normal, young adults.

We just need to get our muscles ready for some work.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunshine And Socks

Hanna has destroyed clothes, toys, books, board games, walls, closets, computers and so much other stuff and now add to that list SOCKS. All of the female people in this family share a large basket of socks since we all have about the same size feet and there is no point in trying to keep the socks separated. Rene` went looking for socks and she found that the seems had been taken out of them so no ones toes were going to be covered. There is nothing safe with this kid around. It is a good thing that it is summertime and we usually go barefoot or wear our sandals.

Paul told me this morning that he is my son and that hot thing in the sky is the sunshine, not the sun.

These two kids are such complete opposites to parent, one is so much fun and brings us a great deal of happiness and the other is stress and chaos all the time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Law

Today we are involved with the law. Someone damaged Dad`s truck so he had to fill out a police report. There have been several issues with this type of thing in the neighborhood lately.

Earlier this morning we had to be in court to secure conservatorship and guardianship for both Allen and Lauren who will turn eighteen this year. (It is really hard to believe they will no longer be kids). This has been a paper chase, but not complicated for these two. They are both fully cooperating with what we are doing and no one who could legally protest did so all we had to do after getting our paperwork done was show up and get the paper signed by the judge.

The Judge had a good laugh in court, when he finished reading off the case number and name.and Allen said "that`s me".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shut Down

Minnesota is still shut down. I wish we could get the state working again and shut down some of this nasty heat instead. It is just to hot to let kids who are not able to regulate their activity level and liquid in-take be outside. Our favorite swimming hole is shut down because it is in a state park and well they are not open. The local pool is so crowded that there is no room for anyone to swim, besides they do not allow life jackets or any type of floatables in the pool so that makes it off limits for some of our kids.

This morning the PCAs took the kids to the $1.00 movie to give them something to do while Rene` and I got what we needed from the store and she got her computer fixed. When I asked Hanna about the movie she said it was good, but then she always says that. Then I asked her what it was about and really she has no idea. At least it was cool there and we were able to get our shopping done, too.

These are the days of summer when I start looking forward to kids going back to school.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Solution

Supposedly a budget agreement has been made. It does not solve the problems at all. It just puts them on hold to be solved two years down the road.

Why could they not put all their two year old behavior aside and come up with this before June 30th? Some times these elected people act just like my RAD kid does.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back In RAD Land

we went on vacation ...
No one wrote BFF with toothpaste on the bathroom counter, nor did anyone smear stick people drawings all over the bathroom with shampoo. We had both toothpaste and shampoo left to bring home just for her.

No one was screeching or screaming or as she calls it singing at 2:30 am. All of us slept all through the night until about 7:45 am every day.

No one left entire rolls of wet, disgusting, wadded up toilet paper on the floor behind the toilet.

No one said "this family is dumb" or "you are stupid" or "I am gonna run away".

No food, cell phones, money, computers, or toys disappeared.

No one screamed, kicked, pinched, or poked anyone else in the van.

We only have this stuff going on day in and day out when we live with a RAD kid, that is exactly why we need to go on vacation every once in a while. Our family needs a break from RAD life. We need to experience what it like to live without the chaos a traumatized kid creates.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cars, Oh My

Paul is still totally obsessed with cars and trucks. He plays happily for hours with the same ones day after day. Using his obsession we have been able to teach him some basic concepts such as in front of, behind, and beside. He also learned his colors with cars. He plays the same things over and over again and then every now and again he figures something new out. The last big thing was realizing that all cars and trucks have a license plate. Now he goes around looking at them, hopefully he will learn to read letters and numbers from them. A couple of weeks ago he was very interested in the doors of the vehicles. In Paul`s world there are drivers doors, and pass out doors. and vans and cars have a backedy-back doors, too.

Now he is always asking who is getting in the drivers door and who is getting in the pass out door. When he hollers "can I get in the pass out door" very loudly we get quite a few funny looks from other shoppers in the parking lot. This kid is just so much fun!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Vacation


Trevor and I spent some time checking out this gorgeous college campus at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is on his short list of places to attend graduate school.
Trevor and Karre found some of Paul`s favorite friends to pose with.

Kids with very long sticks are dangerous.

we found some beach and went swimming and played in the sand and then went swimming some more.

It is a guy thing, this arm wrestling. Allen thinks it is great fun.

Oh yeah, we found some more beach and went swimming some more.

We had a much needed break from the usual stuff that goes on around here. We had lots of fun and are looking forward to the next adventure.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vacation Needed

Hanna was on a roll of craziness yesterday. She has pulled her hair out so that all across the back of her head there are very large bald spaces. Why she is doing this, no one knows. Medically speaking there is not much we can do about it unless we want to sedate her pretty much all of the time. That may sound like a pretty good idea a lot of the time, but she needs to be a kid so it is not going to happen. Anyway yesterday she started going off hitting me because some how she thinks that I didn`t make her brush her hair so it fell out. She thinks that taking a shower makes her hair fall out too. We tried to get it through her messed up brain that the rest of us take showers and our hair is not falling out,but she did not get it.

Oh, yeah and while I was at it I stashed to mess under her bed so that she could collect it along with all of the other junk she keeps under there.

There was no explaining to her that she had no idea what she was talking about and hitting me was not going to solve her problem either so it was off to her room for a scream, kick, throw things, fest.

We are gong on vacation sssoooooooon!! Everyone else here needs a break from this behavior.

We are not going to know if our dumb state is shutting down or not and we do not know if PCAs will be working or getting paid either. We are outta here either way. We will figure out how to deal with all of that mess after we have some crazy free time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Half And Half

I realized this past weekend that Hanna has spent half of her life in chaos and half of it in stability. What does that mean for her?

You would think that the stable life she has here would balance out with the chaos and there would be a level of acceptable emotional and social behavior. We have not come anywhere close to such a balance.

She still trusts no one ever. She thinks that she has to be tough and take care of herself. In order to survive in her world one lies, cheats, steals, manipulates, and does whatever else it takes to get what one wants. She looks out for herself without giving a rip about how her actions and behaviors affect others. She does not accept affection from us. We can not even get her to look at us when we are talking to her. The clothes, toys, and others things we have given her she destroys. When we take her anywhere just to have fun she sabotages the outing.

She hurts herself because, well I am not sure why, but I suspect that is it because she thinks we will get rid of her or send her back to her other family, because she keeps telling us to do that. Neither one is going to happen and she has been repeatedly told that, but it comes back to trusting us enough to believe what we are telling her.

She does not consider her adopted family to be hers. If we all just fell of the face of the earth she would shrug and move on. She feels that no matter what happened in the past she belongs with her bio family. Yes, they are her family, and always will be, however she does not understand that when people are physically hurting one another that is not acceptable. She has no concept of her vulnerability.

I hope that some day the love, structure, routine, stability, concern, and acceptance we give her will allow her to want to be apart of the family because everyone needs one.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Duluth



We went to northern Minnesota to spend a couple of days with relatives. It was cold, windy, and wet, okay really cold, 49 degrees for the high and really windy, 35 to 45 miles per hour, so we got wet and really cold. It is the end of June and yes, it is usually warmer then that up here at this time of year. The white caps of the lake were huge and the ships out there were really swaying.

We had a really good time anyway. The moms and Rene` went to look at the shops in downtown Duluth and had a nice peaceful lunch at a place kids would say yuck to.

The dads walked to Wendy`s with the kids. When they left the hotel it was windy,but dry so they figured that letting the kids run the two blocks there would be a good thing. They had lunch and were getting ready to leave when it started pouring so they called us to come pick them up. They got to maintain order for about forty-five minutes, getting ice cream got them to sit down pretty well.

The sun came out long enough for a walk along the lake shore and of course a chance to throw a few rocks into the water. Nicole and Paul were going to keep throwing rocks until the lake got full. Rene` gave her cousin Alex a bit of ship education while we walked. We went on a train ride, swimming and made smores too.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wait And See

Wait and see, that is pretty much what the letters we got in the mail yesterday regarding the, going- to- happen- Minnesota - shut- down. We are trying to digest how this is all going to affect our family. Our kids and their special needs make for and rather ridiculous situation of living where government is involved every single day of our lives and yes, there are many times I would like to do without that life style, yet reality is we can not live without them for the sake of the kids.

The wait and see really means, this is going to be a real mess.

We have 8 PCAs, five of them working full time right now.
We have 3 kids with medical procedures scheduled.
We have 1 kid who receives adoption assistance from this state.
We have 4 kids on medications for everything from seizures to ADHD which cost mega amounts of money.

Chaos makes me crazy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Assembly Line

Yesterday was cool (about 60 degrees) and rainy so it was a perfect day to do some assembly line cooking. I got 3 pans of lasagna, 2 pans tater tot hot dish, 20 pounds of meatballa, 10 pounds of taco meat,and a crockpot of pulled beef in the freezer.

The food is consumed in very large quantities during the summer time when school is out and I also have PCAs to feed everyday as well. There are usually ten to twelve people for both lunch and dinner. During the school year I don`t even make lunch since I am the only one here.

I don`t know when I will get another cool day to cook this summer so hopefully this will last for a few days.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garbage Man


Allen is our garbage man and he takes his job seriously. He takes the trash and recycling out every day. In fact taking trash out is our way of getting him out the door and on the bus during the school year. Now that school is out he sits by the window and watches for the garbage man to show up on garbage day. He got Lauren and Paul to join him today.

When the garbage man showed up he had a little difficulty with our over flowing recycling bin and tipped it over sending cans and plastic bottles all over the place. That sent Allen running out the door to help the guy pick everything up. The garbage man was impressed with the help and thanked him with stickers.

And How Does That Make You Feel?

No matter what you do the kid is still stealing, (even with 2 adults sitting right there), lying, cheating, raging, and manipulating every single day.

She has been given every opportunity, a hundred times more of everything then all of the other kids, more time, money, services, therapy, attention, everything and it makes no difference at all. EVERYTHING we do revolves around her needs. Do we have staff to watch her so that we can have a picnic? Do we have someone to watch her while we go get groceries? Do we risk taking her with us for a swim if we have to drive for half an hour?

This whole thing stinks. A blogger who I read, has a kid who will be released from a hospitalization soon with no plan of action at all. These parents did not work their butts off to get her this placement and then get her back with nothing in place to help them parent her. They were looking for answers and help which they deserve to have.

That mom likely feels just like I do this morning, awful. It is the same old stuff day after day, year after year. It is the "we do not have any idea what to do with your kid, just deal with it yourself", routine.

And so the kid is raging because she was caught stealing food, again, uff da this mess makes me crazy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Congradulations

Here they are, the H,I,J,K girls on graduation night. These are a wonderful group of girls who have grown up together.
Here is Karre with the proof that high school really is over.

We celebrated with lots of family, friends, and food. It was so nice to give Karre a whole weekend in the spotlight. She is a great kid and deserved the attention.

Karre was so excited because her siblings gave her the Hello Kitty balloon that she has wanted since she was about ten years old. She also got some Hello Kitty duct tape and of course cash, too.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Essential Or Not?

If you live in Minnesota you likely know that the government will shut down the end of June unless the knot heads (all of them) who are supposed to have come up with a budget do so before that time.

I had a conversation this morning that tells me that no one knows if PCA s will be considered essential workers or not. Well, for me they are essential especially since it is summertime and there are four kids running around here who have sufficient special needs and this mom can not deal with all of those needs alone for very long. I know Dad would pitch in, but he has a job, too. I also know that my PCAs would help out, but this is their job and they need this income as well. Several of them are counting on paying for tuition and books in a couple of months with their earnings from the summer months.

So lets just get this budget thing figured out now and avoid this shut down altogether. This is stress I do not need right now.

Like Every Other Day

"Can`t you just knock the nonsense off for one last day of school, and be normal"?

That is what karre screamed at Hanna this morning because as usual she HAS to be a pain about everything since she knows school is ending and yes, we are celebrating Karre`s graduation this weekend. She just can not behave for any of this.

She left her lunch box at school or on the bus yesterday so she was mad because she had to take the spare one this morning. You have a choice take this lunch box or skip lunch. Take your pick either one is fine with me, just stop screaming about it and move on.

She left her backpack on the floor in the dining room so Rene` picked it up. She had been told MANY times to put it away or lose it and guess what she decided to do, leave it on the floor. She figured if she screamed loud enough and long enough she would get it back, not happening here.

She missed the bus because she was screaming and throwing things and wiping snot all over the place. Rene` will take her to school when she gets her act together.

The last day of school is no different then all of the rest of them around here, loud, crazy, chaos, oh yeah!